DPPL 282: Martyrs Inspire Early Christian Pilgrims

STA altar at night smallLet’s take a brief look into ancient history:

282. With a few exceptions, pilgrimage did not form part of the cultic life of the Church for the first three centuries of her history: the Church feared contamination from the religious practices of Judaism and paganism, where pilgrimage was much practiced.

Perhaps true. But the early Church perhaps had other things on its mind. It still had the life example of Jesus, the Master who had no place to put his head. Martyrs brought pilgrimage to our attention, though:

During this period, however, the basis was laid for a revival of the practice of pilgrimage with a Christian character: the cult of the martyrs, to whose tombs many of the faithful went to venerate the mortal remains of these outstanding witnesses to Christ, logically and gradually became a successor to the “pious visit” and to the “votive pilgrimage”.

The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy is online at the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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